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30.01.2023 | Commercial Vehicles | News | Online-Artikel

Share of Newly Registered E-Trucks Grows

verfasst von: Christiane Köllner

2:30 Min. Lesedauer

Electric trucks are set to overtake conventional vehicles in new registrations in Europe, the USA and China from 2035. But the changeover will be gradual. In 2040, 60 % of trucks on the road will still be conventionally powered. 

The management consultancy McKinsey & Company forecasts that more than half of newly registered trucks in Europe, the USA and China will be electrically powered by 2035. By 2040, the share of battery-electric commercial vehicles and those with fuel cells is expected to rise to over 85% of new registrations, according to McKinsey in its study "Preparing the world for zero-emission trucks," which was presented at the IAA Transportation 2022 in Hanover.

In terms of total cost of ownership (TCO), the McKinsey analysis shows that in 2030, battery-electric and fuel cell-powered trucks will be more cost-effective than diesel-powered trucks in almost all segments. In certain niche applications, biofuels or synthetic fuels could also play a role in the future, despite higher costs. "We will see a portfolio of decarbonization solutions in the commercial vehicle industry," says Bernd Heid, senior partner at McKinsey and co-author of the study. Differences in technology costs, infrastructure availability, different usage profiles and local energy prices would have an impact on fleet operators' purchasing decisions. 

70 new vehicle models announced by 2024

The conversion of the drive system also requires investments in production capacities and infrastructure in Europe, the USA and China. According to McKinsey, for example, 12 additional battery factories with a capacity of 25 GWh per year each would have to be built by 2030; the infrastructure – charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations – would require investments of $450 billion. According to the study, commercial vehicle manufacturers are expected to offer more than 70 "zero-emission" truck models in Europe and the U.S. by 2024 – primarily for urban and regional delivery traffic. However, this would still mean that these models would only account for 2 % of the total production volume in 2024. "The changeover will be gradual," explains Heid. For example, 9 out of 10 trucks on the road will still be conventionally powered in 2030, and 6 out of 10 in 2040. 

In a global survey conducted in spring 2022, one-third of fleet operators cite limited battery life - trucks have a longer useful life than cars - long charging times and limited range as key obstacles to the introduction of battery trucks. For fuel cells, 3 in 10 fleet managers express concerns about higher maintenance costs and possible higher total cost of ownership; a quarter worry about any reliability issues. 

Turning to offerings such as truck-as-a-service

"The value chain in the commercial vehicle industry is being reassembled by decarbonization," says Philipp Radtke, senior partner at McKinsey and also a co-author. For example, he says, battery production – which accounts for 30 % to 50 % of the value of a commercial vehicle - is being fought over between manufacturers, suppliers and battery specialists. The new technologies also showed up in the operation of the vehicles. Says Radtke, "We'll see a swing to 'truck-as-a-service,' where new offerings will emerge from financing and insurance to maintenance and services to infrastructure and energy provision."


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